Thursday, 15 December 2016

“Edge” may soon be the browser of choice


So I’m on an Insider edition of Windows, fast ring, and because I’m a web developer I tend to use many different browsers – constantly re-evaluating which one is best.

 

And ummmm…. for me, right now, I’m almost ashamed to say It’s Edge.

 

Yes the bastard child from the devil, Internet Explorer, Edge. There are a few reasons why Edge is taking reign as my favourite browser:

  1. It loads stupid fast – yes it has the advantage of using the operating system’s resources in doing everything it does. But, that’s how it should be.
  2. Very Touchy – I use touch screens. Edge has a distinct advantage on touching websites. Little things like selection dropdowns through to big things like swipe to browse, or zooming in on maps. The touch competency is second to none.  (Side note: the reason why Chrome has touch capability is Microsoft actually added it to WebKit, the rendering engine for Chrome – the more you know)
  3. Not a resource hog – often the more you use the web, the slower your whole computer becomes. This is an unfortunate side effect of web browsers that have to provide the capacity to do everything the internet has to offer.

    Looking at my Task Manager, Here you can see that Chrome is using less resources than all the other browser, except, Chrome is using an additional 5 Background processes (this after first load!) that just eat up your system resources and make your computer cry on the inside
    image
    Edge as well has hidden background processes like “Browser Broker” – but those additional resources are much more light weight and well integrated into Windows.
  4. Extensions… Including AdBlock are available through the Windows Store – I can’t stress how good this implementation of “extensions” will be. Microsoft had plenty of attempts of delivering extensions to apps through a central store (Camera Lens Apps, Zune Apps, XBox Apps) – so amid their struggles of trying to get it right, they finally did.

    image

    The store allows for a method of quality control and community review that IS ESSENTIAL to extensions and where other browsers fail to properly execute.
  5. Simple Looks Good. Browsers tend to get loaded up with a million toolbars and options – Microsoft is sticking to very straight forward upfront features at top, and keeping everything else within reach in one menu.

    Perhaps “Make a WebNote” feature up top is a bit contrived or hopeful, or excessive. However – it can be useful and serve a basic capability that other browsers do not have, giving it the Edge, per say, bad joke. I’ll stop.
  6. There is no need to download it, no need to install it, no need to worry about updating it, this whole section is bold. If you have Windows 10, it’s already there – just click on it. Try it out.
  7. And most importantly, Edge Renders websites properly: I nearly cried tears of joy when I saw the www.html5test.com score of 460, this is the final piece to a very important puzzle that is usability. A high score which is on the level of the other big boy browsers out there really allows for websites to improve on the whole. 

    You should no longer be getting the “Upgrade to a better browser” message, unless you are using Google Search – they just say that because they have an invested interest in Chrome – but you are also participating in a browser with arguably the best rate of change in terms of rendering capability.

    Basically, when HTML5 scores start hitting the 500’s – websites will start behaving more similar to, or more capable than, mobile apps themselves.

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What’s curious to me is the “Experimental” score, which I’m finding out now can be achieved by typing in about:flags in the browser, checking off the flags, and even chosing the Composition engine. Let’s see what “Canary” gives us:

 

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Not to shabby Microsoft…

I’ve listed a series of compelling reasons to use edge without even diving into some of the solid developer features they have implemented on it… Although using a browser is a personal preference for everyone, it should be important to note – that the quantitative reason you use the browser you are using now is near indistinguishable with Edge.

 

Regards,

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